My new TV addiction is "The Sarah Connor Chronicles", which brings the Terminator franchise to the small screen. There's nothing like watching robots kick ass to make me think about the big issues in life, and this week's man-versus-machine showdown got me thinking about our widely-noted anxiety about the possibility of robot or cyborg takeover.
From Blade Runner to the Matrix, from Star Trek's Borg to Battlestar Galactica's Cylons, we've spent a lot of time imagining the day when our super-strong, super-smart robots get tired of vacuuming and decide they want to rule the world. You can even buy a witty and informative manual on How To Survive a Robot Uprising.
As a sci-fi fan and insomniac I've spent more than my share of hours staring at the ceiling and wondering whether our house is about to be stormed by robots who've made their escape from the Honda assembly line. That's given me an opportunity to consider a more immediate threat: Facebook. Not just Facebook, actually, but all the social networks and online communities to which we give our eyeballs, braincells, hearts and dollars. Could these online communities constitute the machine threat that sci-fi has taught us to anticipate?